Hike up your pretentious pants and give that pauillac a swirl because we’re headed to the Yacht Club!
Crew’s Cup and Yacht Club are located right next to each other down a corridor off the main lobby and past Captain’s Grille.
This probably doesn’t help. Ale & Compass serves pastries, muffins, oatmeal, and the like for breakfast in addition to appetizers later in the day.
Captain’s Grille got a makeover earlier this year, bringing a new menu and slightly updated decor. It’s far more casual than the uppity Steakhouse, though perhaps a bit more formal than Crew’s Cup.
Freshly carved in-house beef welcomes prospective diners. This is perhaps not the best spot to bring your vegan friends.
According to The easy Guide:
Yachtsman Steakhouse – Back of lobby
American. 5pm-9:30pm; 2 Credits DDP; Appetizers: $12-$19. Dinner Entrees: $30-$65; Kids: $8-$15. 20% TiW.
Yachtsman takes its meat more seriously than any other Disney restaurant on property. Steaks are aged, trimmed, and hand cut on site before being prepared on an oak-fired grill in the open kitchen. The traditional steakhouse setting is heavy on wood with elegant white linens topping every table. While all steaks come in over $40, quality is higher than any other signature restaurant on property. The restaurant is not the best with young kids in tow as there’s little about the restaurant that will keep them occupied, but they may choose from mac ‘n cheese, baked fish, grilled chicken, pasta and meatballs, or a steak skewer. Consider the restaurant for an intimate meal or special occasion, particularly with someone that knows their steak.
Versus Captain’s Grille:
Captain’s Grille – Off the main lobby
American. Breakfast: 7:30am-11:25am; Lunch: 11:30am-2pm; Dinner; 5pm-9pm. DDP; Breakfast Entrees: $9 – $14; Breakfast Buffet: $17/adult, $7 Kids; Lunch/Dinner Appetizers: $4-$15. Lunch Entrees: $13-$20; Dinner Entrees: $18 – $33; Kids: $9 – $12. 20% TiW; 10% AP; 10% DVC; 10% Disney Visa.
Serving seafood classics in a dining room themed to a New England yacht club, Captain’s Grille had its menu and décor revamped in early 2014. New breakfast items include the $14 Butter-poached Lobster, Asparagus, Chive Cream, and Savory Hash Brown in addition to the excellent breakfast buffet that includes fruit, pastries, eggs, bacon, sausage, smokes salmon, bread pudding, and more. It’s an excellent value. Lunch is sandwich and burger fare with the New England-style Lobster Roll on Butter-toasted Parker House Roll leading the way. Dinner brings more expensive entrees like the classic New York strip steak, snow crab legs with new potatoes and corn on the cob, and cabernet-braised short ribs. Kids may enjoy a burger, chicken nuggets, beef kebabs, baked fish, or shrimp skewers. Décor remains bland and forgettable, but it’s easy to secure a last minute reservation and food and service are excellent.
Remarkably few Disney restaurants have linens on the table.
Flying Fish doesn’t.
Artist Point doesn’t.
Monsieur Paul doesn’t.
You get the idea.
Yachtsman’s atmosphere otherwise does nothing for me. When I visit a Disney restaurant, I’m looking for something at least a little unique or a little different. Yachtsman is a yellow steakhouse themed to a yellow steakhouse. It was also really loud in there, thanks to all the wood, all the kids watching movies on their iPads, and the low ceilings.
As Disney’s second most expensive signature restaurant by average entree price, the ambiance does not come cheap.
Though inside Epcot, Yachtsman competes with Le Cellier and Shula’s at the Swan/Dolphin most directly, in addition to Flying Fish across Crescent Lake. My choice between the four is Flying Fish, with its whimsical BoardWalk ambiance and menu featuring fresh steak and seafood.
Yachtsman gets few points for its drink menu, which is the standard Disney bar menu. With skilled bartenders at Crew’s Cup, it’s a real shame that signature cocktails aren’t available, in addition to perhaps a bourbon flight with Angel’s Envy, George T Stagg, and Breckenridge. The Sam Adams Flight is a good value at 15 ounces of beer for $6.
The more you pay, the less the markup will be. Banfi Chianti Riserva is a $16 bottle sold for $53 here, while the Sartori Amarone is a $44 bottle sold for $69. The Lasseter Chenin de Fer is otherwise my pick – a $44 bottle from the winery or $75 here and a convenient way to give it a try.
Another potentially classy move by Yachtsman – Lisa and I both ordered wine flights and they were poured at the table, unlike every other restaurant we’ve been to outside Victoria & Albert’s where they pour behind the scenes.
Each was described as being 2-ounce pours, but these were easily four or more ounces each. The Hall Napa Cabernet that came with it was otherwise $17 a glass and recommended with my Porterhouse.
Onion Rolls and sourdough bread are served while you wait for your meal. The onion rolls were my favorite Disney bread service of all time. Of all time. So fresh and so easy to pull apart – I would have liked to have taken a dozen home.
Garlic and salted butter. The sourdough “felt” a little stale, though it is probably the style they are going for. It’s of little consequence with how good those rolls are.
When my brother was about five years old, my aunt asked him what he wanted for Christmas. His answer: an emphatic, “Meat.”
Yachtsman’s 28-oz Porterhouse – Truffle Fries, Roasted Garlic Butter – $65 may or may not have been what he had in mind. The steak was excellent – the best I’ve had on property, beating out anything from Flying Fish, California Grill, Jiko, Artist Point, etc. Cooked to a perfect medium, there was surprisingly little fat and I was able to gently glide the butter knife through it after being surprised how easy it was to cut it with the steak knife. It’s obviously gigantic – two people could easily share, though it might not be the prettiest exchange. This is perhaps not a steak they would split up for you in the kitchen, unlike the Filets that easily cut in half.
I have not had any luck with their truffle fries. That two times I’ve tried them they have been cold, soggy, and greasy. They are also available at Ale & Compass for $3.99 and Crew’s Cup for $5.49. Your server should note that any side can be switched out for any other side. The smart money would be switching out the truffle fries for another potato I think. Others may have had better experiences.
Lisa ordered the 8-oz Black Angus Filet Mignon with Mashed Potatoes and Cabernet Wine Sauce. Also excellent, lean, and tender, the wine sauce was a nice accompaniment that didn’t add any acidity to the steak, which often seems to be the case. The mashed potatoes were divine – creamy and cheesy.
The recommended side of $12 Truffle Macaroni & Cheese – Orecchiette Pasta and Reypenaer. This was creamy and decadent, if not a bit overrated in my estimation. With the size of the entrees, a side dish is largely unnecessary, though the serving is large enough that four people could all get a nice cheesy scoop.
Ordinarily, I would not discuss service much as our experience is largely irrelevant to yours since you’ll likely have a different server at a different time of year. In fact, and at the risk of bleeding visitors, I would mention that most dining reviews are irrelevant as everyone has different tastes. Hopefully the restaurant, menu, and food pictures offer a bit of a look into the various restaurants.
But our end-of-meal experience was so bad that I’ll recount it for you here.
We were using a 40% off cast member coupon, which affords 40% off one entree, one beverage, and one dessert for the cast member and up to the number of people on their maingate pass, which in our case is three. The coupon, in addition to one 30% and one 50% off coupon (that was used in the previous Narcoossee’s review, which you may remember I more or less panned) are disseminated to cast around the holiday season.
Anyway, we finally got the original bill exactly 27 minutes after we were done eating. I stuck the coupon and the card in with the bill. About ten minutes later, the server came back to our table and said he had accidentally run 50% off the bill instead of 40% and it would be a few more minutes to fix it. Note that our entrees were $65 and $48 for a total of $113. 40% off of that is $45.20. 50% would have been a discount of $56.50 or about $11.30 more. It would have been nice to get a, “I accidentally ran the coupon as 50% off, but I ran it by my manager and we’re all set. Have a Magical Day.” The 18% tip is already calculated on the pre-tax total, but something like this would have resulted in an additional $10 on top of it. This did not happen and one wouldn’t expect it to, but it would have been nice.
Instead, the check came back with 40% off food as $25. This was obviously not correct and I tried to explain it to the server, who shook his head and said alcohol isn’t included and the tip is before shrugging and leaving. I stared at the check for a minute and signaled with my hand for him to come back over. I pointed to the two entrees, said they were easily over $100, and 40% of more than $100 is more than $25. He shook his head again and literally said, “It’s the computer. There’s nothing I can do.” These sorts of conversations in the middle of a restaurant in front of your date are a little embarrassing in the first place, but at this point I was ready to burn down the restaurant. I asked to speak to a manager and the server disappeared. He returned a few minutes later, said, “You’re right” and hastily took the check back. It reappeared several minutes later with a $50 discount instead of $25. I never did speak to the manager.
All in all, it was 52 minutes between the time we finished dinner and the moment we stepped out of the restaurant.
This probably comes across as whiny, but it was so unprofessional and so uncomfortable that it ruined the rest of the meal. Not something you would expect from a restaurant that easily churns out $100/person tabs.
Ignoring our unfortunate end-of-dinner run-in, Yachtsman was a satisfying meal and some of the best steaks you’ll find on property. You’re paying for it, of course, and what I consider a lousy setting doesn’t help the value proposition. Never say never, but we won’t be back and that’s a feeling I’ve never left a Disney restaurant with.
The Yacht Club, Beach Club, BoardWalk, Dolphin, and Swan are an easy walk from Epcot’s International Gateway. If you’re having trouble booking a World Showcase sit-down restaurant or want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the theme park, take a look at what the resorts have to offer.
There’s a campfire scheduled nightly at 6:30pm (at this time of year), followed by a movie at 8pm. Frozen was shown on this particular day. Anyone is welcome.
Crew’s Cup serves food from the same kitchen and doesn’t require or accept reservations, offering a more casual atmosphere with upscale food. The Grilled Sirloin Steak is only a small step down from the $40+ steaks at Yachtsman.
Yacht Club doesn’t have a traditional quick service, but the sandwich fare served here isn’t much more than you’d pay at Landscape of Flavors or Contempo Cafe should you find yourself back at the resort.
Lisa’s $17.99 Lobster Roll served chilled on a Butter-toasted Parker House Roll – $17.99 is the same as what’s served at Captain’s Grille at the same time. It’s a heaping pile of lobster without a whole lot of filler. Very good and more filling than the BoardWalk Bakery’s version.
The orzo was slimy and undercooked.
My Shaved Beef Sandwich – Roasted Shallot Mayonnaise, Pickled Peppers and Onions, Beef Jus Reduction, Vermont Cheddar, and Watercress with your choice of Vegetable Orzo Salad or French Fries – $13.49 is one of the more unattractive dishes I’ve been served and the dark lighting certainly isn’t helping.
And we’re scrolling.
And we’re scrolling.
It was packed with roast beef on a freshly baked roll. It’s messy and there is a lot going on, but I enjoyed it.
As mentioned previously, the truffle fries were cold, soggy, and greasy.
Despite a sour end to our meal at Yachtsman, we enjoyed the food and Crew’s Cup is a casual way to grab a bite to eat in a less pretentious atmosphere. The restaurant and its menu are not compelling a return visit, but I don’t think you’ll find a better steak on property than that Porterhouse, Shula’s included.
As largely reported, Kouzzina closes its doors on September 30th, 2014, most likely due to a contract problem. It will be exactly five years since it opened in August.
Atlantic Dance Hall is now charging a $5 cover charge, if you can believe that, dissuading the three people that were sort of interested in checking it out from going in on a nightly basis.